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A WEAKER man than Bertram Wooster, contemplating the fact that he was trapped in rural Steeple Bumpleigh, would probably have given at the knees. For amongst those present were numbered Florence Craye, to whom Bertie had once been engaged ; " Stilton " Cheesewright, to whom Florence was now affianced and who regarded Bertie as a snake in the grass ; Zenobia Hopwood and her guardian Lord Worplesdon, whose violent antipathy to " Boko " Fittlewortfa amounted to a complex ; and, biggest blot on the landscape, Edwin the Boy Scout doing acts of kindness out of sheer malevolence.
And Bertie's forebodings were amply justified ; for in his well-meant efforts to oil the wheels of commerce, promote the course of true love, and avoid the consequences of a vendetta, he became the prey of all and sundry. As Bertie observed, " pure as the driven snow though he may be, or even purer, it is the man on the spot who gets the brickbats."
Complete disaster might well have followed but for the genius of Jeeves who, at the moment of crisis, extricated the young master with a stratagem as smoothly executed as it was brilliantly conceived.